WASHINGTON — A man from the Kyrgyz Republic was arrested Monday for defacing the Lincoln Memorial, the third time this year that the iconic monument has been vandalized.
A U.S. Park Police officer spotted the man using a penny to carve the letters “HYPT MAEK” into one of the pillars on the north side of the memorial.
Nurtilek Bakirov, 21, was charged with malicious destruction of property. He could face up to 10 years in prison plus a fine of $25,000.
He was expected to appear in D.C. Superior Court on Tuesday, the Park Police said.
National Park Service conservationists were working to figure out how to repair the damage.
Last month, vandals left offensive language on the memorial in red spray paint. And earlier this year, cryptic messages referencing former first lady Jackie Kennedy and President John F. Kennedy were scrawled on the memorial in black permanent marker.
One of the most prominent landmarks along the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial opened to the public in 1922.
The Kyrgyz Republic is a mountainous country in Central Asia that’s home to about 6 million people and was once a part of the Soviet Union.
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